USGS Study: Marcellus Drilling Fragmenting Forests in PA

The U.S. Geological Survey earlier this week released a new report raising concerns about Marcellus Shale drilling in the Allegheny Plateau (pretty much the entire Marcellus region). The 38-page report (full copy embedded below) looks at two counties in particular: Susquehanna County in northeastern PA, and Allegheny County in southwestern PA.

Using a series of maps and data, the authors raise concerns that Marcellus drilling, along with drilling for gas in coalbed methane (a similar process), is leading to “forest fragmentation”—a situation where forested areas get “carved up” with roadways and drill pads that lead to limiting the geographic habitat area for some species of animals:

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